An outstanding group of students from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing had the unique opportunity to say thank you to Mr. Michael S. Turner, a longtime supporter of the College of Nursing, at a luncheon hosted in his honor at the college on April 14, 2016. These students participated in the Nursing Leadership Field Experience program in the Fall of 2015 – a unique leadership and career development trip.
Mr. Turner, a 1961 graduate of the University of Oklahoma, is a tireless supporter of OU. He has been a longtime advocate for student leadership programs both on the Norman and Health Sciences Center campuses – including supporting student leadership travel programs in the College of Engineering and the College of Nursing. Turner is a member of the Seed Sower Society, which recognizes donors contributing more than $1 million to the university.
This year, the students, led by faculty sponsors Dr. Gayle McNish and Mrs. Brenda Nance, visited Atlanta, Georgia – meeting representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Emory University Hospital, and OU Nursing alumni in the area. While touring some of the nation’s top healthcare facilities during the day, the group engaged in discussions about what they’d learned as they debriefed – emphasizing the role of teamwork, leadership, and technology in nursing. According to one student, “I learned that teamwork amidst crisis leads to your coworkers becoming a family – and holding each other accountable, believing in each other, and working towards common goals creates a successful working environment.” The group also visited the Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic Site and the Center for Human and Civil Rights, prompting opportunities to discuss the role of nurses in addressing disparities in health and health care. Thanks to the generous support of friends like Mr. Turner, these students truly are paving the way for global impact as Sooner Nurses.